Sarah Jane Zenger, a Mia Maid in the Rosecrest 1st Ward and a member of the stake youth council in the Salt Lake Canyon Rim Stake, took a trip to Chicago, Illinois, this year to compete in the MTNA Junior Woodwind Competition, a national event in which musicians ages 11-26 compete in categories specifically for piano, voice, string, ensemble and woodwind performances.
The categories are comprised of four different age divisions and include the best talent in the country.
Having played the flute for more than 10 years, Sarah Jane felt like she was aptly prepared for her performance at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile Hotel. For the previous two years leading up to the competition, Sarah Jane had practiced the pieces that she performed for the judges.
This isn’t the first time that she’s performed in front of a large crowd on a big stage. She has been competing since she was 7 years old, starting off with local competitions, and then moving onto bigger performances such as state and regional competitions. She said that she has “performed in front of people every year” and has even performed in the Assembly Hall at Temple Square. However, the competition in Chicago was bigger than any of her previous performances.
Being able to perform in a world-renowned city was one of the highlights of her trip.
The size and the renown of Chicago were matched by the talent and energy of the participants at the competition.
Sarah Jane said that she was a little scared because of her surroundings, and her teacher, having listened to some of her fellow competitors play, told her that she had never heard talent like that before. She would compete against eight other flutists in the junior high division.
But Sarah Jane took her concerns to the Lord and prayed that her nerves would be calmed. As a result of the prayer, Sarah Jane said she felt calm and that she had a fun time playing. She placed first in her division.
During her time in Chicago, Sarah Jane took some time to go to the Chicago Illinois Temple and do baptisms for the dead.
Because of her faith and talent, Sarah Jane has a bright future ahead of her.
— Jace Whatcott